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How We Tackle Our Problems Is Key

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A certain Japanese businessman said to his friend: “You’re always complaining about having so many problems. I know a place where there are at least 10,000 people, but not one of them has even a single problem or worry. Should I take you there?”

His friend said, “Yes, please do!” And guess where the businessman took him? To the cemetery.

He was teaching his friend that as long as we live, we will have to deal with problems and sufferings. How do we tackle our problems? This challenge is what makes for a rich life.

Buddhism teaches that “earthly desires are enlightenment.” The greater our sufferings, the greater happiness we can transform them into through the power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. (Ikeda Sensei, My Dear Friends in America, third edition, p. 262)

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Q: I often feel constrained by my boss, teachers and parents nagging me and wish I could just be free of all responsibilities in life. How do I overcome this?